By Sudip Bose | Online Only | January/February 2008
buildings dating from
Bruner Cott & Associates
Located some 12 blocks south of Harvard Yard, near the Charles River, is 46 Blackstone, a collection of brick buildings that once housed the Cambridge Electric Light Company.
The renovation of the complex, completed in 2006, also happens to be Harvard University's first project to receive a LEED platinum rating.
Much of the brick exterior work was left seemingly unchanged; the interiors, however, have been transformed into models of environmental sensitivity. The heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are energy-efficient, resulting in a 42% reduction in summertime energy usage (ground-source heat pumps are used to cool the building). Renewable materials are used throughout, and the wood is certified. About 99 percent of waste generated from construction was kept out of landfills, and a parking lot has been transformed into a green courtyard.
The site is now home to the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, and its employees have two green-friendly commuting options: the offices are close to a bus route and the Charles River bike path.
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